Legendary college football coach Bobby Bowden has been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition, he and his family announced on Wednesday.
“I’ve always tried to serve God’s purpose for my life, on and off the field, and I am prepared for what is to come,” Bowden said in a statement. “My wife Ann and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace.”
The statement did not disclose any details of his medical condition.
Bowden, 91, retired from coaching in 2009 after 44 seasons, which included six years at West Virginia University and 34 years at Florida State University.
As the team’s head coach, Bowden led the Seminoles to two National Championships in 1993 and 1999. He is the second-winningest coach in NCAA history with 357 wins, behind the late former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno.
“Jean and I are deeply saddened about the news on our friend, the legendary Bobby Bowden, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to Bobby, Ann and the entire Bowden family,” Florida State University President John Thrasher said in a statement. “Coach Bowden built a football dynasty and raised the national profile of Florida State University, and he did it with dignity, class and a sense of humor.”
FSU Director of Athletics David Coburn added, “Bobby Bowden has meant everything to Florida State athletics and so much to college football in general. He has influenced so many people beyond just the players he coached, and the staff who had the privilege of working with him. He is a part of the heart and soul of FSU, but it goes beyond even that — he is a big part of the history of the game.
“Anyone who has had the opportunity to be around Coach Bowden knows what it is like to know a person who has his priorities in the right order, who loves life and values integrity and honor.”
Bowden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
In 2011, Bowden revealed he was secretly treated for prostate cancer in 2007 while he was still coaching.
“I wasn’t ashamed of it,” Bowden said in an appearance on CNN explaining why he did not reveal the disease sooner. “I didn’t want it to get out because I didn’t want my opponents to use it against me.”
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